WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — “They’ve had plenty of opportunities to get rid of me over the past 12 years. They’ve never attempted to do so,” MSU philosophy professor Nathan Jun said.
Strong words from Jun who has been surrounded by controversy recently over his social media posts. Jun said he’s received death threats and anti-Semitic vandalism on his home.
Dr. Jun said the backlash he’s receiving is nothing new. Many locals have expressed concerns that he is still a professor at the university. However, MSU defended his right to free speech in a statement and he said it’s wonderful that they did.
“There’s no way that I can make those sorts of expressions publicly around here without this kind of thing happening again and again and again and again. I’m just tired of it,” Jun said.
Jun is known for his outspoken personality and his controversial comments on social media. Some include harsh rhetoric towards police and politics. Many local residents have voiced concerns that Jun can make these comments as a professor at the university but MSU is defending his right to free speech.
“That’s fantastic. That’s wonderful because they didn’t do that before now they’re doing that.”
He wants people to know he recognizes his role as an educator
“It’s a sort of a difficult balancing act because on the one hand of course I feel a sense of obligation to my institution and to my profession more generally. But my particular profession also obliges me to speak out fearlessly and unapologetically on matters of public concern according to the dictates of my conscious.”
Jun also said he has been receiving death threats because of his outspoken nature since Jun and his home has been vandalized with anti-Semitic imagery.
“The results are always the same. People are calling for my death or for my termination or for my entire family to be killed or whatever.”
Even though Jun said he has always received backlash throughout his 12 years at MSU, he said he is very fortunate to live in Wichita Falls and have the job he has.
“I do long to live in a world in which we no longer have cops, which we no longer have capitalists and which we no longer have politicians. Because those are my political beliefs and I own them and I make no apologies for those beliefs.”
We have reached out to MSU officials for further comment.
Stay with us for the latest on this story.
You can find the full MSU statement here.
WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — After more than 1,000 comments on Midwestern State University’s statement about his Facebook comments, Dr. Nathan Jun issued a statement on Saturday, Sept. 26, in response to the death threats he has received and anti-Semitic vandalism and damage to his property.
After a comment from Jun’s Facebook account was screenshotted and sent to Texoma’s Homepage, we reached out to MSU Texas for comment on Friday, Sept. 25.
“To its credit, my employer, Midwestern State University, has repeatedly affirmed that neither I nor any other faculty member will be punished or retaliated against—let alone terminated—for exercising our Constitutional rights to free speech,” Jun said in his statement.
While he encourages meaningful discussion about his views and beliefs, Jun said there is no excuse to make threats on his life or his home.
“The harassment has been so intense that I have been compelled to relocate to a hotel for my own safety,” Jun said. “Everyone is welcome to tear me apart on social media, to call me (non-racist) names, to hate on me till their hearts are content. Make no mistake, however, that threats, vandalism, and hate speech are crimes that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Read Jun’s full statement below:
“Yesterday afternoon KFDX published a story regarding a comment that I posted on a friend’s Facebook page. In doing so, the station failed to provide (or attempt to provide) any context for the comment in question and, as a result, inadvertently helped gin up the latest in a long line of violent, hysterical attacks against my person and property at the hands of local far-right extremists. In the past 24 hours alone I have received hundreds of death threats (most of them virulently anti-Semitic in nature) by phone, email, text, and private message and my home has been vandalized for the fifth time since June. The harassment has been so intense that I have been compelled to relocate to a hotel for my own safety.
This latest witch-hunt has followed a predictable pattern that would be laughable if it didn’t come at such an enormous personal cost. Back in June, local fascists began to circulate a screenshot of a Facebook post in which I expressed support for abolishing the police. This resulted in a violent campaign of harassment, threats, and property destruction that endured for the better part of 4 months. The screenshot at the source of the current controversy was dug up and disseminated in response to a speech I delivered at a political rally on Thursday. Many of the same individuals who have been targeting me since June were directly involved in this enterprise.
To its credit, my employer, Midwestern State University, has repeatedly affirmed that neither I nor any other faculty member will be punished or retaliated against—let alone terminated—for exercising our Constitutional rights to free speech. In the 12 years that I have been a member of the faculty, I have never made any secret of my politics, nor have I shrank from publicly expressing controversial opinions. Far from attempting to silence or discipline me on this account, the university instead awarded me tenure and promoted me in rank twice. Why? Because, whatever anyone thinks of my politics—including the university administration—my record of excellence in teaching, research, and service speaks for itself. It is only because we are living in the midst of a phony, ginned-up hysteria (known by scholars as “The Antifa Scare”) that the local right has decided to go after me. As a person who doesn’t own a gun or have criminal record—and who belongs to a member of a historically persecuted group that is greatly underrepresented in Wichita Falls—I am very clearly an easy target for them.
While it comes as no surprise that so many of my fellow Wichitans find my political beliefs repugnant, offensive, and even dangerous, this scarcely justifies efforts to harm me, my family, or my property. Any minimally decent person—no matter how conservative he or she happens to be—should agree. Everyone is welcome to tear me apart on social media, to call me (non-racist) names, to hate on me till their hearts are content. Make no mistake, however, that threats, vandalism, and hate speech are crimes that will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
Dr. Nathan Jun